Ensuring Access to California Digital Government Documents

While more and more state information is on the web today, there is no overall plan for ensuring that the public will have access to California state government documents that exist only in digital format in the years to come. Will policy-makers, state staff, historians and the public be able to see what the government is doing today twenty years from now? Where will they be able to find the announcements, plans, and reports? Ensuring this access is a major problem facing all the states and the federal government.

Recognizing that state government publications and information resources form part of the documentary heritage and social and intellectual capital of California, the State Library is working with the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System and OCLC Digital Collection and Preservation Services on a project to examine the surge in digital government information and the need to preserve and provide continuing access to this information.

This project is supported in whole or in part by a grant from the California State Library to the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System. Funding for the grant comes from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services should be inferred.

California Government Documents Conference (March 2004)

A conference in late March 2004 brought together librarians, archivists, state agency and data center staff, and experts from other states and the federal government to discuss the issues, look at different models and to suggest next steps.

Conference Agenda (DOC)

Webliography of related reading materials (DOC)

Conference Presentations – Coming Soon!

Research Study (August 2004)

As part of this project, a research study prepared by Judith Cobb and Gayle Palmer of the OCLC Digital Collections and Metadata Services Division was issued on August 30, 2004. Using the results of the March 2004 conference and other primary and secondary research, the study evaluates California's current programs for distribution and preservation of state government documents and records, and presents models and recommends actions on creating a digital repository program for California state government information.

Research study (PDF)

Related Resources and Programs:

General Reports and Papers:

North Carolina State Library. The Access to State Government Information Initiative. North Carolina State Government Information: Realities and Possibilities: A White Paper on the Status of North Carolina Digital State Government Information. November 2003.
http://statelibrary.dcr.state.nc.us/digidocs/Workgroup/WhitePaper.pdf

Library of Congress Digital Preservation Program, It's About Time: Research Challenges in Digital Archiving and Long-term Preservation. August 2003.
http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/about/NSF.pdf

California Digital Library. Web-Based Government Information: Evaluating Solutions for Capture, Curation, and Preservation. November 2003.
http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/preservation/govinfo/

Federal and Other State Documents Preservation Programs:

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Digital Projects Guidelines

Colorado Digitization Program

Library of Congress Digital Preservation Program

North Carolina Access to State Government Information Initiative

Texas State Library State Publications Depository Program

(Documents in PDF format can be viewed with the Adobe Acrobat Reader.)